Coconut Oil is found across every departmental store and even on online stores. This sweet smelling tropical staple is considered to be helpful for thyroid and heart, slow aging, arthritis and diabetes, helps in losing weight and even protecting against illness like Alzheimer’s.
The question that health expert raised is that whether it is actually as useful and good for health as it is claimed by its proponents?
Any oil that is used is mixture of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids. The fatty acid that is most abundant in any particular oil let the oil known by its name. The most damaging among these fatty acid is saturated fat as it is artery clogging. In coconut oil the content of saturated oil is more than 85%.
American Heart Association recommends that for a healthy diet the daily limit of saturated fat is 13 grams. One will be surprised to know that one tablespoon of coconut oil contains about 12 grams of saturated fat. Thus, one tablespoon is enough to meet the daily limit of saturated fat in an 18 calorie die plan. If saturated fat intake is increased then it may increase the level of LDL or the ‘bad’ cholesterol, thus raising the risk of heart disease.
Studies have revealed that about 72 percent of Americans considers that coconut oil is a healthy food.
To the contrary different research conducted ta various Universities found that coconut oil not only increases the level of ‘bad’ cholesterol but it is similar to other saturated fats. There is no difference between coconut oil and butter or palm oil. Thus, American Heart association suggest that it is best to minimize the use of coconut oil as it increases the level of LDL cholesterol.
Still there is research that claims that in coconut oil the main fatty acid is ‘lauric acid’ that helps in increasing the HDL or the ‘good’ cholesterol. Others also claim that coconut oil is rich in phytochemicals that has antioxidant properties. However, the fact is that although extra virgin coconut oil may have phytochemicals but how many users buy extra virgin coconut oil? Moreover, the ill effect of saturated fat outweighs the benefits of phytochemicals.
One do not eat antioxidants or fatty acids, what they eat is food. Thus, care has to be taken that what ingredients are used for cooking the food. Coconut oil may be better than butter or palm oil but it is not healthy. There are other healthy choices available like olive oil.